ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona AG: Beware of coronavirus-related scams, phishing emails

Mar 6, 2020, 6:02 PM
(AP Photo/Andre Penner)...
(AP Photo/Andre Penner)
(AP Photo/Andre Penner)

As you take precaution to prevent coronavirus, also be wary of potential scams trying to capitalize off the public’s fears.

Arizona Attorney General’s Office spokesperson Katie Conner told 92.3 FM KTAR News that people need to be on “high alert” to avoid those preying on the public.

“Scammers will go to great lengths to deceive consumers and make money,” Conner said. “People really need to be on high alert, do their homework before they pull out their wallets and never give up any personal information.”

Conner warned of phishing emails from people pretending to be with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or World Health Organization.

Do not click on links in these emails, she said. Instead, go directly to the CDC or Arizona Department of Health website if concerned.

“Unless you had been in contact with someone specifically from the CDC, it’s very odd that all of a sudden you would start receiving an email,” Conner said. “Don’t click on an email after not expecting it to come in … it’s likely a scam.”

Additionally, websites advertising “miracle products” or vaccines to coronavirus are not legitimate, nor are investment scams related to COVID-19, Conner said. Make sure sites you go to for information are based on science and not just “personal testimonies.”

“Over 4,000 coronavirus-related domains have been registered since January,” she said. “It’s very common in times like this for illegitimate domains to pop up around high-profile events just to deceive people.”

Conner said to trust your gut. If something seems odd, it probably is.

She noted, however, that price gauging is legal during times of emergencies or health concerns for some products.

Anyone who believes they have been the victim of consumer fraud are encouraged to file a complaint at the Attorney General’s website or call the office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at (800) 352-8431.

To help contain the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases spread through respiratory droplets, including the flu, health officials have issued the following recommendations:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Refrain from touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Don’t make close contact with sick individuals.
  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue away.
  • Clean and disinfect objects that are frequently touched.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Taylor Tasler Oatley contributed to this report.

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Arizona AG: Beware of coronavirus-related scams, phishing emails